first_imgA coalition of business leaders is doing everything it can to create jobs in Vermont. A new website, www.vermontcpr.org(link is external), has arrived on the scene to support revision of Vermont’s permitting process in order to pump life into the Vermont economy. The website urges legislative initiatives to make meaningful changes to the Act 250 process this legislative session.Sponsored by the Coalition for Permit Reform (CPR), the goal of the new site is to mobilize individuals to encourage the legislature to enact reform that creates a more consistent, more predictable and more timely permit process, while preserving Vermont’s existing environmental protections.In his inaugural address Governor Douglas stated, “We have two great economic advantages– our natural environment and Vermonters themselves… However, the choice we face today is not between jobs and the environment. It is a choice between both or neither.” The www.vermontcpr.org(link is external) site delves deeper into choices that are ripe now: problems with the current permit process, innovative and sensible solutions, tips for contacting legislators, the text of several reform bills; and a legislative update page and an alert page to follow proposed bills as they move through the House and Senate.Chuck Nichols, Vermont Chamber Senior Vice President and a founding member of the Coalition, noted, “The Coalition developed the site to cut through the rhetoric: as a simple resource for Vermonters, providing accurate information regarding various permit proposals currently in the legislature.”The Vermont Coalition for Permit Reform is a broad-based coalition of statewide and local organizations that are dedicated to enacting common sense reform to Vermont’s environmental permitting process.Nichols observes that the legislature does not operate in a vacuum. “By developing www.vermontcpr.org(link is external), we encourage Vermonters to educate themselves; get involved in the issues. This is a call to action to preserve the environment we all value while ensuring that Vermont remains a viable choice for the quality of life we seek this year, next year, and for our children.”last_img read more


first_imgOTTAWA – The Inuit people have been treated as bystanders or test subjects since the moment Western scientists first began studying the Arctic, and the time has come for the northern Indigenous community to have a greater say in the science that takes place in their homeland, the head of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami said Thursday.The ITK, which represents 65,000 Inuit in Canada, announced the launch of a national Inuit research strategy centred on encouraging researchers and research institutions to partner with Inuit on projects that better reflect the needs and priorities of northern peoples.“For every three Inuit, there is one research publication about Inuit and about Inuit Nunangat,” said ITK head Natan Obed, using the preferred term for the traditional territory occupied by Inuit peoples in Canada’s North.“There has been a focus on Inuit Nunangat research, but there has not been a focus on Inuit participation,” he added. “This aims to change that.”Obed highlighted the northern experience of climate change and severe social inequalities, including suicide and food security, as issues that tend to be trumped by subjects like Arctic sovereignty or resource development, which receive a disproportionate amount of research funding, often to the detriment of those who live in the North.“In the past, research questions weren’t focused on answering our questions. They were answering other questions that people might have had about us or independent of us, but in our homeland,” Obed said.“We need to know more abut how our society functions, about specific issues within our society, in order to make our societies better.”Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett was on hand for the announcement, where she stressed the government’s commitment to support the proposed research strategy.“The Arctic is for the people who live there,” Bennett said. “It means that the Inuit must have a very strong say in the policies and the fact-finding and the research that takes place in the North.”While the Inuit research strategy itself has no teeth or enforcement mechanisms, it is intended by ITK to lay a foundation for universities, research institutions and governments to adopt and put into practice.The ITK is the national representative organization for Canada’s Inuit, most of whom live in Inuit Nunangat, which comprises northern Labrador, northern Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Yukon and the Northwest Territories.The research strategy highlights five key areas, which include promoting Inuit governance in research, aligning funding with Inuit research priorities, building Inuit research capacity and encouraging Inuit access and ownership over findings.Other areas the strategy seeks to address is the lack of Inuit representation on research and ethics approval boards for work that takes place in the North and the absence of a university in Inuit Nunangat, which it says contributes to the continued dominance of local research by outsiders.One promising area Obed highlighted where collaboration is happening is an $80-million commitment to develop an Inuit health strategy, outlined in the most recent federal budget.In the past, the federal government would conduct research in Inuit Nunangat and then describe the world to Canadians without Inuit input, Obed said.“As much as people want to say that research is objective, it is not. There is a subjective element to the way in which you describe the world, the way in which you describe findings,” he said.“The ownership, control, the access, the participation of Inuit within the research process is an important step and does not diminish research itself. It actually enhances it.”– Follow @gwomand on Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgJatiya Sangsad. File PhotoThe Parliament Secretariat Commission on Thursday approved a Tk 3.28 billion budget for parliament to spend on its development and non-development expenditures for the next fiscal year (2019-20).The approval was given at the 30th meeting of the commission held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.The budget is 9.71 per cent higher than that of the outgoing fiscal year of 2018-19, said a parliament secretariat handout.The meeting also approved the estimated budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year and cleared the revised budget of the outgoing financial year (2018-19).Commission members prime minister Sheikh Hasina, deputy opposition leader Raushon Ershad on behalf of opposition leader of the House HM Ershad, finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister Anisul Huq attend the meeting.Chief whip Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury attended the meeting on special invitation.In the beginning of the meeting, it discussed the implementation progress of the decisions taken at the 29th commission meeting.The commission recommended strengthening security for the Parliament Bhaban and its repairing and renovation.last_img read more


first_imgChildren celebrate Eid-ul-Azha. File photo: Prothom AloMuslims throughout the country are celebrating Eid-ul-Azha, their second-largest religious festival.In the morning, devotees thronged Eidgahs (large open spaces) to offer prayers. They sought divine blessings and prayed for peace and prosperity of the country.Well-off Muslims then sacrificed animals in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah as illustrated by his readiness to give up his beloved son Ismail.Sholakia Eidgah in Kishoreganj and Gor-e-Shaheed Baro Maidan in Dinajpur held the country’s biggest Eid congregations like previous years.In Dhaka, the biggest congregation was held at the National Eidgah where President Abdul Hamid offered his prayers along with people from all walks of life.Congregations were also held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and various places in the capital.Law enforcement agencies, including Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police, have taken tight security measures.Television channels and radio stations are airing special programmes on the occasions. Special diets will be served at hospitals, jails, government orphanages, centres for persons with disabilities, shelter homes and vagrant and destitute welfare centres.President, PM greet nationPresident Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the country’s people as well as Muslims across the world on the occasion of Eid.In his message, the president urged people to realise the lesson of sacrifice (Qurbani). “Peace and amity will be established when the teachings of sacrifice are reflected in our personal and social lives,” he said.The president said he hoped the people would sacrifice animals at designated spots and work to remove wastes.In her message, the prime minister urged people to be imbued with the teachings of Eid-ul-Azha and participate in public welfare activities to build a peaceful, prosperous, and happy Bangladesh devoid of discriminations.last_img read more